Don’t Ruffle Any Feathers

Episode #12

Tim and Doug share real-life examples of when someone in a relationship holds back on who they really are in order to keep the other person happy. This is something that they see over and over again from members of ‘The Activation Process’ and it always leads to a false or failed relationship.

Like in any relationship, if you hold back on how you are really feeling for fear of upsetting your partner, it always gets bottled up and these bottled up emotions will always come out at some point in a much more explosive way than if you tackle the issue there and then.

Doug shares a personal story of when his wife spotted that he was in a habit of dimming his own lights in order to make other people feel better. Upon discovering this trait and working on it, Doug saw the picture change completely.

In the final part of this episode Tim asks the all-important question, How do you let your light shine and be the full you while also keeping your partner happy…

    • The importance of a simple conversation.
    • Doug’s technique of ‘what else is possible’.
    • How to use outside the box thinking.
    • How not ruffling feathers can inspire others.
    • How to be yourself while keeping others happy.
    • Understanding when your ego is talking to you.


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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:00  

When we are in a relationship with a significant other or anybody else, and we decide, “Hey, I’m not going to ruffle any feathers, I don’t want to rock the boat here, by being fully me.” Really what we’re saying is, “I’m not going to shine because I’m too worried that it’s going to hurt everybody else’s feelings.” When I shine my brightest, the true essence of this is it gives my wife, my spouse, and people around me permission and the ability to shine even brighter. 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, Tim Matthews. Tim, how are you doing, man?

Tim Matthews  0:36  

Absolutely phenomenal. In yoga this morning, I changed my routine, feeling peaceful. It’s yeah, doing good. 

Doug Holt  0:44  

I love it. Absolutely. Well, we want to dive right into it. Because this came up recently with one of the businessmen that we’ve been talking to. The title of this episode is don’t want to ruffle feathers. We see this often come up with people, not men, through our group, but just in general. What happens is these men get into a place that we talk to, and they’re like, “I want to change so badly. I want to show people who I am” they’re sedated, but they don’t want to rock the boat, they don’t want to ruffle feathers, they don’t want to cause any problems in this. What they want to do with what they’re telling us is they’re playing average, and they’re playing a very low level. So someday, they hope that things will be better, right? “Someday, maybe I just waited out, and I don’t ruffle any feathers. I don’t rock the boat, and I’d be a good boy. And then maybe things will be okay.” Not great. Just okay. What’s your experience with this?

Tim Matthews  1:43  

Ah, God, wow, what’s my experience with this, um, there’s a couple of occasions that come to mind vividly, very recently as well. It is quite honestly, and it’s a common occurrence with the men coming into The Activation Method as they go through The Activation Method and partly the reason for that is because a lot of the relationships in their lives have been formed based on agreements of who they used to be. That could be intentions, expectations, all sorts of different things that feed into what that relationship looks like. These could communicate consciously or things that just go on said. But regardless, there’s a mold that they have created for themselves, that they are buying into that is not serving them and quite frankly, isn’t serving the other person, either. If it were, we wouldn’t be working with them and what happens is, as these guys go through the process in The Activation Method and The Alpha Reset, and they start to take control of their life and discover how powerful they are. It’s not that they don’t want to be in that relationship with that particular person. This could be where we start; we’ve seen it a lot with guys who have built teams within their organizations. They’ve brought people into their business, based on who they used to be different standards, expectations, and values in the company. As they are uplevel, naturally, the values and the vision for the company at level two. So it’s not that they don’t want to be in a relationship with this person. 

It could be the wife, it could be the team, it could be the friends, but it is that they want to be in a different type of relationship with this person. And at this point, there’s a choice, and that choice is, does this man continue to honor himself and speak his truth? Communicate his true desires? Based on what is true for him? If he does, then there’s a choice for the other person in the relationship? Do they want to go there with that person? Do they want to go there with him? They may not want to go there with him, and that’s okay. We get so attached to the familiarity of how things can scare. Change can scare people, and that’s cool, I get it. But the point I’m making here is if that person you’re in a relationship with doesn’t want to go where you now want to go, or just want to go but doesn’t quite know how to get there. They’re scared, they’re afraid, you’re going to outgrow them, you’re going to leave them behind. What if I can grow as fast as him? All these things go through their mind. But in my opinion, as long as the person shows a willingness to want to be there with you, an appreciation for the journey that you are embarking on yourself, and some support for it, then more often the night works out because you’re both aligned with one major value, and that’s growth and love for one another and yourselves as well because ultimately, if you choose In a moment, not to speak your truth about what your new standard is in a relationship, what do you think is going to happen? 

Do you really think that the relationship is going to be able to grow and thrive? That relationship is going to be worse off before you even come to realize a new standard that you desired because now you’ve seen something new, and he can’t go back, he can’t unsee it. Now you live in a lie, and you start to resent the other person or start to resent yourself. Either way, that energy in the relationship changes. It’s almost like when you cheat on someone, and you choose to stay together, and you choose to make it work. And you know, couples do, and that’s cool to do to make it work. But the energy is different, isn’t it? I know, you cheated on in this instance, yourself. Well, natural factor, also cheating your kids and your family too, because no one’s ever going to get the best of you. Unless you’re getting the best of yourself, it’s just as simple as that. So as you were telling me before the show that for the show, the title of the show, and the topic, this is such a great one because I see it time and time and time again, it really can make or break you.

Doug Holt  6:20  

Yeah, it’s so true and so interesting. As we think about the men, perhaps one man, in particular, it’s a case of, “Hey, I’m going to dim my light and to make the other person feel better.” What you’re doing here, and all the men listening to this, I’m sure you can resonate with this on some level, we are really doing it if you’re saying, “Hey, look, I’m not going to be the full me. So I don’t disturb you.” What you’re doing, in that case, is one, are you doing what I call the warm-up for life like you’re not playing in life like you’re waiting for life to happen in some distant future. And you are hoping that we’ll be okay, not great, just okay. But you’re also having a relationship with somebody that you’re trying to protect, or you don’t want to ruffle feathers, and you’re trying to, you know, make everything okay. But that is a false relationship. As you said, Tim, these men now are having relationships, they’re in relation with whoever they’re trying to protect, or maybe themselves, their parents, their spouse, whoever it is. But it’s a fake relationship, right? 

That you’re now having a relationship with that person’s representative, the person that’s representing this fake idea of the way that they think the other person wants them to behave. If I act this way, in this social situation, then I’ll be accepted and loved. A lot of us have gone through those phases of our lives, If we’re honest with ourselves. We do this often, maybe you go to a work party, and you’re just a little bit different than you would be hanging out with the guys or hanging out with your spouse, or when you see your parents or you’re in-laws, or whatever it may be, do you actually put on an altered persona in those situations? Now to this point, don’t ruffle any feathers, and we’re talking specifically in an intimate relationship where the man has decided to make a change. He has opened his eyes as you said, you can’t unsee that. But then he found out that his spouse is scared, his spouse is going through a fear paradigm. Remember, there are two ways to build the biggest building in your town. One is you can build it up and keep building, and other people can help you, and maybe you can help their buildings. The second way is to burn everybody else’s building down. 

And oftentimes, that’s what’s happening. What these guys decide to do, and those men that are listening to this, right now, try this one as a possibility. Because I’ve certainly done it myself in the past, is we dim our lights, we dumb ourselves down to be in relation, to not rock the boat or ruffle feathers. But what ends up happening is now we have a relationship with those people that we’re trying not to disturb. But it’s a fake relationship. It’s built on a false premise, both it’s like a foundation of quicksand because we’re not being our true selves. Now, they may like our fake self, but it’s not us. So they’re not really fully enjoying the essence of who we are. Therefore, if we’re going to keep having a relationship with them, we have to keep faking it and pretending, which is only going to, as you said, cause us to present ourselves, resent them, or both of us, which then inevitably leads to a failed relationship more cheating or cheating in general because you’re going to be pulled to your true essence. And that’s just going to cause problems. Yeah.

Tim Matthews  9:46  

And as you were talking, I was thinking, and there’s no way you can end well, just isn’t if you deny your truth. Within your relationship, there’s no way it can end well. I know someone’s going to sacrifice that doesn’t feel good. It just doesn’t feel good; it’s going to come out somewhere in some form or sometimes. And it’s going to be way worse than if you just communicate, that’s all a conversation. This is the crazy thing is, it’s a conversation, but we often tell ourselves so many stories. Doug, in the last episode, you do the great sighs of writing the story down and highlighting natural facts. We often have so many emotions and stories entangled within what it is that we won, that it just creates his mess. And it just builds up, and we just almost paralyzed ourselves from being unable to have the simplest of conversations. Now, I can remember a couple of years ago, Amelia and I were going through a period when we were growing. I had it in my head that she didn’t want to grow in the way I wanted to grow, this wasn’t going to work, and blah, blah, blah. There was that, she had the same value as me, which was growth, and she just wanted to grow in her own way. 

She was going to support me in my own growth still, and we could still have conversations about certain meaningful things to those in our relationship and our personal lives. We’re still on the same path, and as I said, we still wanted the same things. But like I say, she just wanted to go in a different way, and that’s okay. She didn’t want to listen to audiobooks. She didn’t want to read books, that’s not how she likes to; he wanted to go to events, try to learn about things that she will love to learn about, she wanted to do things her way, which now sometimes one of the things that I did, and I see a lot of men do, if they don’t want to grow, it’s almost like we have the conversation will make it so black and white, that look, I’m going over that I need you to support me if you don’t want what I want. And that’s it, and it’s just not going to work. Because there’s a different conversation, I guess, to happen in that instance. Now, I know that Doug, you’ve got an amazing marriage with Erin, you guys have been together a lot longer than obviously Amelia and I. So I’d love to hear how you would handle this situation? 

Doug Holt  12:16  

Oh, wow. Great question. So let me talk about how I would handle it now and how the old me handled it in the past. I think that’s beneficial. It’s not like you, and I just arrived here. This is a journey for all of us that are and I’m still on this journey, as you are. So how I would handle those situations now is, and again, I’m going to give credit to my wife. You’re going to hear me say this a lot in this podcast, and she doesn’t listen to the podcast, at least I don’t think she does. But so I’m giving this not to get props, but the truth. And the truth is, is she says something often, it’s not this or that. In her statement that she would repeat to me time after time and time again, which we now it’s a mantra within our home, is I don’t live in a world of or I live in a world of and what else is possible here. So when she and I get into that conflict of, “Hey, I want you to grow, you want only to grow when you go to the seminar, or we’re gonna have a problem.” No, it’s, and what else is there? What else is possible here? And so we’re able to come to a kind of outside the box thinking. You look at it when there’s one thing, and there’s one choice, you don’t have a choice, right? It’s one directive, one path that you have to take, and there’s no choice there. When there’s two, that’s called the dilemma, right? If it’s this or that, that’s a dilemma between two things. 

Again, not really a choice. It’s a dilemma. There are always three options, and this is the way that we’ve operated our marriage in our life for the past four or five years. It’s really opened up the door to conversations, opened the door, ways of being, we have an amazing lifestyle, or any companies I’m coaching. In a little bit will be going to another retreat that we’re hosting is going to be absolutely phenomenal. And how do I then also support my wife, right? How do I get to support her? And that’s the and, then what else is possible? And what else can we come up with? We use what else is possible, then all of a sudden, your mind starts expanding and opening up to other realms of belief and other realms of possibility. That’s where true cooperation partnership is able to flourish, not even just grow, flourish would be the word I would use. Because you really can step into something totally different. Oftentimes in relationships, it used to be, “Hey, we’re either doing this or we’re doing that,” “We’re either saving money to buy the house, or we’re going to go broke,” whatever else it may be, or “We can’t buy this because of that.” What else is possible, right? That opens you up to whole different realms of thinking and, to use an overused term outside the box, thinking within your relationships. 

Hey, guys, I had to interrupt this show because I want to talk to you about a case study we put together; it’s only 11 minutes. What we do is we go over and show you how almost 300 men have taken control of their life, already have 4X of business revenue, and are having more connected intimate sex with their partner using The Activation Method. They’re doing all of this without burning down their relationships, and without suffering and sacrificing their health, we want you to have this too. So go over to https://www.thepowerfulman.com/bonus/, the number 11 one, one, and get this right now. It’s only 11 minutes, and it’s going to show you exactly how these men have done it. Alright, let’s get back to the episode.

Now, backtracking right early on in my relationships, not just with Erin and just early on in relationships, I would often do what I call dim my light to make other people feel better. So in the case of you and Amelia, when you’re talking about or in the case of one of the gentlemen coming through, I wouldn’t want to ruffle feathers. And I would do this in business too, Tim. So I would go into a business situation, and if I knew a lot more than the business owner did, going in as a consultant, and I knew they felt insecure about that, what I would do is play dumber. I would make fun of myself, use self-deprecating humor, and really put myself down and put them up to make them feel better. The idea I would do this behind was to protect them. It wasn’t to sell them something or anything else. I really had an innate desire to protect people, and I still do today. One of the reasons that I would do that, though, is I would lower myself, I just in athletics, it just all over the place, lower myself to let other people shine. I’ve been doing this all since I was a child; it went in well into my 30s, early 30s. Before I really made this shift. When I realized someone told me again, my wife, this before we got married, she said, “You know what you’re doing here is you’re enabling people, by playing small, by playing average, by not playing all out, you are making it okay for them not to grow. 

You are enabling you to prevent their growth and expansion.” And when I let that sink in, Tim, that hit me like a ton of bricks. I mean, I was like, wow, at first I resisted it. But then when I really stopped and thought about it for a while and thought about a situation that happened to me at the time, where I was actually working with an employee. And the employee’s confidence was really low, right? They were the stars, but they were really low. So I will just be like, “Hey, you know, it’s not your fault.” I make mistakes all the time, and I was going through this whole thing and finding myself there. What I was doing was giving them permission not to play full out. Now, when I stopped doing that when I started just going full out, just letting me be me letting my intelligence, my light shine, all the things that I’m great at. What happened to Tim was the people around me; it gave them permission to go even further to shine even brighter. It did not make them feel bad. Some people made him feel bad, maybe for a little bit. But some people inspired, and some people actually gave them permission to raise the bar in their own life. We talked about this internally, with our organization, The Powerful Man movement, we’re out there changing men’s lives. We’re like, and we had this internally with our whole executive team. We said, geez, guys, where do we want to be two years from now? How many men do we really want to impact? Who do we get to become today to make that happen? When we did that, the bar was raised right, what else is possible for us to be able to serve men at a higher level? Now, fast track to take this all the way back to what we’re talking about originally, within relationships. So when we are in a relationship with a significant other, or anybody else, and we decide, “Hey, I’m not going to ruffle any feathers, I don’t want to rock the boat here and cause any drama or what have you, by being fully me.” Really, what we’re saying is, I’m not going to shine, because I’m too worried that it’s going to hurt everybody else’s feelings. When the true essence of this is when I shine my brightest, it gives my wife, my spouse, and the people around me permission and the ability to shine even brighter. 

When I’m in the presence of somebody that is at their essence, just killing it,  they’re doing everything in life. They’re radiating love, even when I’m down, and we dip we all do, right? Everybody listening to this goes through ups and downs, and I don’t care who you are or what you do. Then and when I go down, and I’m around somebody who’s shining brightly, what does that do to me? That lifts me up. That raises me; it doesn’t make me feel like there’s a huge discrepancy, and oh my gosh, I’m not there. No, no, no, no, it raises the bar. So by lowering ourselves, going average, not ruffling the feathers, not having that conversation, which you know, you need to have, and you know which conversation everybody listening here, you know which one I’m talking about. There’s a conversation that you need to be having, and by not having that conversation, what you’re doing is keeping those people around you down; you’re letting them down. By not playing full out, you’re giving them permission to play small and not grow themselves. by growing yourself by having those conversations by living in a world of possibility, about really going after who you really are, and letting your colors shine, who you really shine, and you’re giving them permission to do the same. And that’s a true gift and relationship that is unconditional love.

Tim Matthews  20:52  

Wow, I was hoping that wasn’t going to end.

Doug Holt  20:56  

I felt like I could talk forever. But I just got kind of possessed by those topics. I’m so passionate about it.

Tim Matthews  21:01  

Yeah. I loved it. So here’s probably the final question. How do you do that? How do you let your light shine so bright? Without then getting into saving the other person?

Doug Holt  21:25  

Great question. Another one that took me a while to understand. So let’s use you and I as an example; we’re in a relationship, right? For example, maybe this is a bad example. So maybe we should back up here. But let’s just use my wife and me, which is probably going to get me in more trouble. But if I’m going, “Hey, look, I’m going to shine like I’m gonna be all of me.” Now. I’m, you know me, I’m quirky. I like to make jokes all the time; I’ll take a serious situation and make it a joke. I like to laugh, I like to make people laugh, and I’m just that’s who I am. In business situations, for example, that’s not always called for, theoretically, although when I do it, I actually get closer to the people that I’m doing business with, on a personal level, which makes me do business with them longer. But in a relationship, if I’m saying, I got to save my wife, what I’m really saying is, there’s something wrong with her. I have to save her, and then there’s something wrong with her. And if I’m saying there’s something wrong with her, I’m really a pretentious asshole, at this point. I’m saying, “I’m better than you and do need help?” “I know what the answer is for you; you should just listen to me.” That’s really what that person is saying at that point, which is bullshit, total and complete bullshit. That is your ego talking to you. How do you know? How do you know that person’s needs? How do you know it’s better for them? They are on their own path, their own journey?

I’m sure they can look at you and say, You know what, here are ten things that you can do right now to improve. We all can, right? We all can. When you’re trying to save somebody, you’re really just saying I’m better than you. And I know better than you. So let me do it for you. You’re not giving them the opportunity to grow. Having said that, I think there are ways of being that you can move the needle. So, for example, this is totally not true. My wife is incredibly fit; she’s a strength coach. She’s a life coach, among other things. But if she was not healthy, the first thing I would do instead of saying, “Let me save you,” “You’re going to the gym,” “You’re going to eat healthily.” No. I show her by example. I love her even more. I go to the gym workout, I create opportunities for us to do things active together, and I cook healthy meals without saying anything about it. I eat healthily, and I show her the path through my example. Not through trying to change her, not through my words. She will step in line when she’s ready. If she feels that’s the right thing to do. When you’re trying to save somebody, it’s your ego telling you, and I can do better than you. You need my help. And that just you know becomes there that is a place not of love. Love, unconditional true love is I love you no matter what. I just love you and who you are. If you say that and there’s a “But really you should change.” Well, you do not love them for who they are. You’re not. You’re lying. You love them for who you want them to be, not for who they are. When you’re in that state, you’re missing out on who they are. I don’t care what it is. You’re out of the present. You’re putting yourself into the future. And you’re missing this moment right now, the only one you have with that person. So the choice is yours. What do you want to do? Do you want to save them? Or do you want to stop feeding your ego, look at your own shit, clean up your side of the street before you start looking at everybody else’s side of the street and live by example, live with passion and love them for who they are now? 

Tim Matthews  25:10  

Yeah, I will spit out my genius. Keep going. I don’t mean to interrupt.

Doug Holt  25:16  

No, no, I was going to say, I don’t know if that answers your question, exactly. But that’s the way I see it right now.

Tim Matthews  25:21  

Yeah, I mean, if you were speaking then the thing that came to mind for me was this dance I was doing with my hand, it is kind of like weaving in and out of two hands back and forth. I said, dancing and you get to do it in a successful relationship. That’s the dance that most of them do is very much where one plus one equals 11 versus one plus one equals two, co-creation versus codependency and really rounds off the conversation a great way because by the first point of this was when you realize that you step into your power, your standards of change, and you wanted something new, and you get to express that and be it, and then the other person has a choice to and you can live it, you can sort of telling them what they get to do in that instance, that dance that co-creation versus codependency. And you all know, how long you’ve been doing that and how long you’ve been making healthy meals and how long you’ve been a healthy role model? And how long do you want to go on doing that for is it worth it? You know, cuz we do, we have a lot of instances, we have had instances in the past whereby it’s actually turned out that the relationship just isn’t the right one anymore. And sometimes it isn’t, it doesn’t make the person bad, it doesn’t make them wrong, or you better or you stronger, and them weaker, it doesn’t. People come into your life for a reason, for a season, or a lifetime. And maybe what you thought was a lifetime was actually a season. So, Doug, thank you so much for all of the wisdom that you’ve shared. I’ve learned a ton on this show today. So thank you so much. 

Doug Holt  27:05  

Thank you, brother. It’s always every time you and I connect and have a conversation, and I end up leaving a better man. So thank you, as well. I hope the other men listen to this and women, right? We’re getting a lot of women listening to this hint and saying, “Hey, how do I get this in front of in front of the man that I love.” And, you know, I’m going to say, I suggest you listen to this together, listen to this in the car on the ride together. And don’t try to change them. Maybe put the conversation on the table. And maybe if they ask you for resources, do it and get them there. But for the men that are listening to this, we’d love to hear back from you. What are you getting out of these conversations that Tim and I are having? I mean, these are conversations that he and I have on a regular basis, and we wanted to share them with you. And we’d like to know what you’re getting out of this. So reach out to us, go over to ThePowerfulMan.com and hit the contact button and reach out to us and let us know what you think we’d love to hear from you.

Tim Matthews  27:59  

Yeah, we would. So Doug, thank you very much. It’s been an absolute pleasure, and honor, as always, bring on the next show.

Doug Holt  28:09  

All right. We’ll see you guys until the next show and have an amazing rest of the day.


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